Stage Fright - Causes and Solutions of Performance Anxiety

Stage Fright - Causes and Solutions of Performance Anxiety

Stage Fright - What You Can Do About It

Stage fright is one of the biggest challenges that you may have to overcome, as an actor. Many people find themselves dealing with it, even if they usually have no problem at all with communicating with others.

Believe it or not, about 75% of people deal with performance anxiety, so you are not alone in your quandary. Despite having a lot of talent and knowledge, you may find yourself totally bombing a performance due to stage fright, so it is time to learn a bit more about what causes stage fright and how you can finally overcome it.

Cause #1 – Lack of Preparation or Experience

One of the main causes is a lack of preparation or experience. Many people who are doing something for the first time in their life find themselves dealing with a real case of stage fright. This is very common among beginning actors who are doing their first auditions.

If you don’t have experience, you can find it difficult to get beyond the performance anxiety. However, even a seasoned professional can deal with this problem if they have not taken adequate time to prepare.

Cause #2 – Not Feeling Well

Another cause is not feeling well. Often when you are not feeling well it can cause even more anxiety when you are trying to perform. You end up being so afraid that the way you feel will affect your performance that it actually does.

Cause #3 – Fight or Flight Response

The normal fight or flight response can also be the culprit when it comes to dealing with performance anxiety. This natural response often kicks into gear when you are doing something new or if you are doing something that causes anxiety, like getting up in front of people.

You can end up with a racing heart, elevated blood pressure, and feeling quite short of breath, since the adrenaline in your body really kicks into high gear.

Overcoming the Problem

Learning to overcome your problem with stage fright is important, especially if you plan on performing in front of people often. The following are several different options that can help you to overcome the problem.


Many people have found that using medications, such as beta blockers, can actually help them get over their problems. These medications actually counteract the adrenaline that is released in the body and helps to calm down the nerves, lower blood pressure, and slow a racing heart. However, it is important that medications taken for this purpose are only taken as directed by a doctor.

Keep Practicing

Believe it or not, practicing can actually help you to overcome performance anxiety as well. The more you continue to do something, the more comfortable you will become doing it. So, the more you are actually in front of people; the more likely you are to overcome your problem.

Relaxation Techniques

There are also a variety of relaxation techniques that help. Biofeedback can help, as can progressive relaxation and yoga.

Photo Credit: weekly.paint.things